I saw a documentary about a married couple, one of them cannot hear and see. Both were born in Osaka prefecture and are over sixty-five years old. They looked calm and luminous backed by a sincerity which comes from facing the shadow within them. They always smile and look like people with a backbone, especially the wife who cannot hear and see. She smiles like the sunshine. It was appealing to me.
She lost her hearing ability because of a high cryptogenic fever when she was two years old. And she gradually lost her sight from thirty years old to her fifties. They met in her fifties when he was a volunteer who helped the sight-impaired. She was still able to see his face at the time. She touches everything and does everything as if she can see everything. She can clean up her bathroom quickly and spotlessly. She cooks by herself, including chopping, frying, etc. She enjoys TV dramas through her husband’s finger language. She uses the computer which has a special device; when she types, she can automatically touch them in Braille. She has a license in Japanese dressmaking, so sometimes she sews something for her family and friends. Isn’t she is an amazing person?
One of her turning points was in her fourties. She was told by her ophthalmologist that everything depends on, as we say in Japan, her eye in her heart. While experiencing “losing light,” she realized that her joy literally heightened the light in her vision. Conversely, she experienced that her irritation literally darkened her vision. Losing color and light made her attempt suicide twice, But facing life while feeling death on her back, she was encouraged by her ophthalmologist’s words. She decided to live bright. That decision makes her smile like the sunshine.
She got married to her current husband in her fifties. He devoted his life to agriculture because he resonated with Tolstoy and Kenji Miyazawa who also think agriculture is basic for humans. He pursued his ideal vision and something changed in his fourties, so he started to help the sight-impaired. It guided him to meet her. He was a very diffident person, so she was the first woman for him. She gave him the gift of tolerance. He learned that he could be happy when he could help others be happy.
I felt that both live like the sunshine. They know their limits and needs clearly, so they cooperate with each other. That was very beautiful and it embodied true independence.